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Hendy Woods

The last park we visited, on the way home from Mendocino, was Hendy Woods, and it was the most awesome of the trip. Hendy Woods is full of old growth giant coastal redwoods! And it was very quiet. Now that I know about this place, it’s definitely where I’m going to take people who want to see big trees and aren’t into strenuous hikes.

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Russian Gulch State Park

WordPress reminded me today that I have had this blog for two years. When I started it I wasn’t sure how long I would keep it up. I was learning to use my Canon 80D and wanted something to do with the photos aside from posting on facebook. I found I really enjoy keeping this blog. In fact, I briefly switched the title to include Art (and Photos by Kate) thinking I would post some of my artwork too, but found I didn’t want to do that. I like posting the photos and writing a little something about them without much forethought. It’s not a lot of work and it’s relaxing. It gives me an incentive to edit my photos, which is needed. I seem to know a lot of photographers who take a lot of pictures and never really look at them or edit them. Personally I don’t see how you get better if you don’t look at your pictures, but ok 🙂

So I kept this to Bay Area Photos by Kate. I did start an art blog on my real website too, if anyone’s interested. It’s HERE. Not too many people read this or look at it though and perhaps that’s part of the charm. A couple of “likes” a very occasional comment. Not a lot of views. I’m posting these photos pretty much just because I want to and enjoy doing it.

So anyway, here are some more photos from the trip, these are from Russian Gulch State Park which was exceptionally green. There was so much poison oak and such overgrown trails, it’s a miracle I didn’t get it. After a bout with it earlier this year, I would like to never get it again! Horrifying stuff, really. But somehow, possibly by holding my arms in the air going “don’t touch don’t touch don’t touch,” I was spared. It’s a beautiful park with a nice waterfall destination.

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Armstrong Redwoods

The first park we visited on our trip last weekend was Armstrong Redwoods near Guerneville. The hike we did was only about 3 miles, but it was a very attractive 3 miles with a few large trees, a waterfall, and lots of pretty green scenery. It was foggy and very lightly raining, some of the best redwood forest weather.

This park has a good amount of accessible trails which is pretty cool – you can see the big trees even if you’re not into hiking. Of the three hikes we did on the trip, this one had the most people. There was a cute nature store there where I picked up a book and a t-shirt.

It’s good this was a short hike as it was the first one I did after having the flu and I certainly didn’t feel up to my usual level of energy or breathing. But I still enjoyed the scenery and suffered no adverse effects.

If you look closely you can see my friend hugging one of the giant redwoods 🙂

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Warm for December

It was drier and warmer at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve today than it was last time I went, in September. We haven’t had much rain. A few showers last month, nothing recently. Last year at this time everything was soaking wet and muddy. I hope the rain is just later this year, not absent. Things looked a little dry and dusty, which is something I associate with August, not December. Also, it was warm! In the sunny places I was hot.

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Point Reyes Woodward Valley Loop

Continuing the traditional Thanksgiving hike, this year we went to Pt Reyes National Seashore and completed a 14 mile loop that climbs up Mt Wittenberg, down to the coast, along the ocean with two jaunts to beaches, and back up Bear Creek. I had a turkey cranberry sandwich while sitting on a deserted secluded rocky beach.

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Kings Canyon & Sequoia

I finally made the trip I’ve long meant to make to see the giant Sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and it was incredible. I knew they were enormous, but it’s something else entirely to see them in person and imagine the longevity of such creatures that can live thousands of years. Seeing just one of them would be awe-inspiring, but we were able to hike in a large grove where there were hundreds of giants (Redwood Canyon in Sequoia National Park).

I’m almost at a loss for words to describe how moving it was to see them in person. Maybe I just won’t try. Photos:

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Portola Redwoods State Park

This is a hike I’ve been meaning to do for some time, it just never panned out. Well, finally made it there on Sunday and did the 14 mile hike to Peters Creek, a remote grove of old growth redwoods. Most of the redwoods around here are new growth as the old ones were cut down for timber. But in some hidden and hard to get to places, you can still find groves of the old growth coastal redwood trees.

The park itself is a long and winding drive on narrow roads uphill and downhill. Hidden down in a deep valley, there is a different kind of atmosphere and landscape here than other parks in the area. Truly magical.

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Edgewood Park

Another old haunt I haven’t been to in years, dating back to before I started dslr photography. Edgewood Park is across the street from my usual Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve. My main complaint about this park is the traffic noise from 280. It’s audible from parts of Pulgas too, but it’s just really loud on the whole northern side of Edgewood. However, I seem to be in a mood for variety in hiking, so I decided to give it another chance. It does have its charms. The twisty creepy branches of Pulgas seem to have multiplied here, on the other side of Edgewood Road. I saw a lot of deer and several bunnies. I also noticed that they have really added a lot to the educational center and they now have a labeled wildflower garden. I need to check this out when wildflower season comes.

I took these pictures yesterday, on Halloween, and seem to have captured a bit of a Halloween spirit with the long shadows and twisty tree silhouettes.